Hana Tsuruhana, 2009 Leaver

Job Title: Student (4th year Medicine, UCL)

What was our favourite subject at Queen’s Gate and why?

I really loved History at GCSE with Miss Townsend. She made every lesson exciting and didn’t mind if we went off track if we were interested in something.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?

I liked them all! I’m most indebted to Miss Newland and Miss Howe for arranging to teach a completely separate exam for me and a couple of others (Further Maths AS Level) which wasn’t on offer before.

What is your fondest memory of Queen’s Gate?

There are lots, very difficult to decide… one that comes to mind is when my friend dressed up as a llama for a day in order to raise money for a Peruvian charity, and she performed a piano piece in costume in our music class. Another is during Talent Week, I made lots of sushi in the morning with my parents and sold it in the 6th form common room. I remember feeling so happy that so many of the girls (even some teachers!) came back for seconds.

Did you get involved in any extra-curricular activities such as music, debating or sport?

I was in the choir and orchestra for many years. I also ran my own Japanese club for two terms, went to yoga and helped to set up the QG MedSoc for aspiring medics.

What do you think Queen’s Gate’s unique selling point is?

I think it’s probably the small size that not only allows everyone to know everyone else, but also enables the girls to make a big contribution to the school and really make the school their own.

How do you think Queen’s Gate helped you get where you are today?

Queen’s Gate played a huge part in making me who I am now… The friendships I formed whilst there are so precious and I could not have come so far without them! I definitely became more confident over the years, and the encouragement I received from various people at Queen’s Gate helped considerably in deciding to apply for Medicine.

What made you decide on your university course?

The biggest factor was reading a book about the first neonatal hospital set up in Japan whilst doing my GCSEs, and the doctor who was responsible for it. By the time I finished, I’d decided I wanted to become like him, and the work experiences I was able to do afterwards didn’t put me off!

Tell us more about your course –what you enjoy, what you found useful from your QG-taught skills, etc.

Having basically done a science degree in the last 3 years, I’m really enjoying the clinical years of being able to see patients and pretend to be doctors without the responsibilities!

Do you have any advice for those thinking of a career in your industry or trying to get on a Medicine course?

I think the most important thing is to be as sure as you can be that you definitely want to do medicine and don’t mind working really hard to get there, because I can’t imagine being able to get through all the years, without a fairly strong sense of determination. That said, I only thought about doing medicine toward the end of upper fifth, and was only sure of the decision in lower sixth, so you don’t have to have wanted to be a doctor since you were small, for it to be the right decision.

Professionally, what would you like to be doing in 5 and 10 years? Do you have a certain specialism in mind?

At the moment I’m still very much drawn by the idea of a specialty involving babies or children so neonatology or paediatrics would be amazing. But there are lots of specialties I still don’t know about so I’m trying to keep an open mind about it.

Are you still in touch with QG friends?

Very much so. Seven of us have got together this year and are doing a Come Dine With Me type thing, where we all take turns to cook a three course meal for each other. It’s been really lovely that a lot of us have stayed around London.